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FRANCE | NORMANDY: Caen – Dior – Mont Saint Michel – Giverny

CAEN

The morning light filters through the window of our small white attic. Looking out we observe the city awakening as the rays illuminate the typical French sloping roofs.

Caen is a beautiful city but we visit it too hastily to truly enjoying it. We use it as a base to visit nearby places. We should have spent a little more time in town as it worths.

Its history is long and connected to the Normandy landings – as well as to important historical events that have made it an elegant city with an architecture that crosses styles and eras, such as the beautiful Abbaye Aux Hommes, the characteristic neighborhood of Vauguex where the family of the singer Edith Piaf lived, the Castle and the Museum of Fine Arts.

We will only explore it at evening, crossing the less busy streets and the central ones where life comes alive among restaurants and trendy clubs.

CASA DIOR

After breakfast at the B&B Clos Saint Martin , we walk 100km to reach the Musée Dior in Granville.

A blooming garden and a pink-walled house welcome us. It is not difficult to understand why flowers and soft colors have never been lacking in the collections of the French couturier who translated the sensations and scents of this familiar place, overlooking the sea, into a catwalk success.

Today the house is a thematic museum where retrospectives on the designer’s work are periodically proposed. We venture up the small wooden stairs to discover the rooms and clothes on display, the house is small and delightful. We are fascinated by every single room and dress.

In the garden there is also a cafeteria where you can enjoy delicious dishes, but we continue our itinerary.

MONT SAINT MICHEL

An hour later we reach the famous Mont Saint Michel and its bay.

A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1979, the abbey stands on a rocky islet that has watched the great tides come and go since the Middle Ages.

After leaving the car in the parking lot, we decide whether to wait for our place on the bus that will take us to the mountain in about 15 minutes or to set out on foot.

Obviously we choose the real travelers way and – for 40 minutes – we walk through the gardens and on the pier along the wheat fields and the bay, so as to fully enjoy the wonderful spectacle that opens up before us as we get closer and closer.

Low tide and wet sand surround Mont Saint Michel which takes your breath away with its peculiar beauty.

We take a tour inside but it is literally besieged by tourists lining up to visit the abbey, to enjoy a meal or to buy some souvenirs.

After having pushed ourselves as high as possible, we go out to continue observing it from the outside, the mere sound of nature deceives us that we are still stuck in time.

Retracing our steps back, we stop in a park where we find a street-food offer perfect for relaxing and refreshing ourselves after a long walk in the sun.

In the evening we return to Caen to recharge the batteries.

GIVERNY

The following day, the village where Monet lived and painted until his death in 1926 awaits us.

The center of the small town consists of a single street where a few houses and a couple of restaurants and hotels are located.

Monet’s house has paintings hanging on the walls, brushes resting on the desk overlooking the courtyard full of lush flowers. Not far from the house we find the pond with the famous water lilies and the Japanese bridge that allows you to cross it.

Although above us there is a gray sky, we are able to appreciate all the beauty of this enchanted place, frozen in time.

Lunch time has come so we walk down the small central street and sit at the tables of the Au Coin du Pain’tre which welcomes us with a beautiful garden and delicious dishes.

Homemade cakes are very delicious!

The following day we will arrive in the Ville Lumiére., We have been missing since 2012 and it was time to meet her again.

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